“It’s really important that we drill these scenarios in advance, so that we can identify any gaps or pinch points and develop ways to address them.”

- Conrad Gregory, Exercise Coordinator

For the last 21 years, offshore oil and gas operators in Newfoundland and Labrador have come together for Synergy. Synergy is an annual event that tests and measures the industry’s response capability to spills. In addition to operators, regulators and response agencies also participate in the drills and discussions.

Traditionally, all parties involved would spend the day offshore where they would deploy spill response equipment in a live, marine environment. In 2019, Synergy took a different direction which involved leading participants through scenario-based tabletop exercises. These scenarios were designed to help improve future spill reactions, identify collaborative opportunities and uncover any potential holes in the response process. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) was also involved and played a role in developing this year’s program and providing oversight. 

Hosting Synergy rotates between Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore producers. Synergy 2019 was hosted by Husky Energy and Conrad Gregory, a Husky employee, filled the role of Exercise Coordinator. When asked about Synergy’s focus he said that “the key objectives were on enhancing engagement, integration and communication” and that “it’s really important that we drill these scenarios in advance, so that we can identify any gaps or pinch points and develop ways to address them.”

By gathering people from different parts of the oil and gas industry together, along with regulators and response agencies, the aim is to create a dialogue that will help improve spill response.

“It was valuable to have companies, regulators and response agencies in the same room to have an open discussion. While operators focus on prevention, if there is a spill-related incident, these sessions should help improve future response efforts”

Safety is the first goal for everyone in Newfoundland and Labrador’s oil and gas industry. Events like Synergy 2019 show that commitment to workplace safety and protecting the environment are top priorities and being improved on, year over year. With everyone working together to better response times and increase communication, the industry will only get stronger and safer.

Contributor bio

Conrad Gregory Sr., Emergency Management Advisor,
Atlantic Region, Husky Energy

Conrad Gregory has more than 20 years experience in the Emergency Response field and has worked for a number of Incident Management Teams around the world.